It started as an average day, but ended in tragedy. The New Brighton Fire Department was called to a house fire. The normal anxiety associated with the familiar tone of their fire pager was quickly heightened by the news that followed.
The house on fire was owned by a fellow firefighter on the department. The fire trucks roared out of the station with sirens blaring. They quickly arrived on the scene. As the heroic firefighters were battling the flames, they came across Bart, a 13-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer. He had suffered from extensive smoke inhalation and was unresponsive. The firefighters, who included Dr. Janet Olson’s husband, did not have the knowledge base or equipment to help Bart and he died.
The entire fire department was devastated by this tragedy, feeling helpless to assist one of their own. Bart the dog died that day. But the BART course was born to honor the memory of Bart and to ensure fewer families will suffer a similar loss.